Unorthodox Writing Tips 13: A different point of view
My current residence isn’t that big. Compared to the house I used to live in it’s quite small. Regardless, we still have a good number of places to sit down. From the dining room table to the couch to the corner chair.
Something I like to do to get a different perspective on a given room is to sit somewhere I don’t normally sit. Sure I usually sit on the couch or in the corner chair, but what if I sit on the patio chair and look in through the window? Things look quite different sitting on the outside looking in.
Or perhaps I’ll sit in each of the six dining room chairs in the morning. Which chairs give me the best view of the room. Which have the sun shining in my eyes. Which gives me the best view to look outside. How would a conversation flow with people sitting in the different chairs? Would one person be distracted by a picture or mirror behind the person they are talking to while that person is squinting from the sunlight shining just over the wall in the back yard?
Move yourself around and imagine your characters having their conversation. Perhaps you need some props on the table to visualize what your characters are seeing as they converse. Most people don’t just sit and stare at one another during a conversation. What are they doing in between sentences or while the other person is talking? These actions will allow you to cut down on the number of he said, she said and allow you to interject action to help move the conversation along.
What about other rooms in your house? Perhaps you have a low dresser that you lean against while you talk. Or would your character be more comfortable with his arms crossed leaning in the doorway or cross legged sitting on the edge of the bed. Sitting on the floor. Again, what do you see that might distract your character during a conversation? What might they pick up and look at as they conversation is flowing. Where are the windows? What do you smell in the room? Where would someone else sit?
Move yourself to the back yard if you have one. What plants are there? Are they still living? In desperate need of water or trimming? I’m not here to judge. Trust me I’ve got the brown Thumb of doom. But again take some time to look around to see where you have to sit or stand or what might be a conversation piece.
Next look and see how things are laid out on a given room or the backyard. How might your character arrange the room differently? How s the flow of the room and what looks out of place and what looks too organized? Where are the piles of stuff and what is in those piles. Would your character be embarrassed to have company or are they such a neat freak they’re following guests around picking up after them while smiling and holding a conversation?
Take some time to sit somewhere new. Perhaps you need to move a chair to get a look at a room from a different angle but take to get a fresh view on an old room. You may just surprise yourself.
Until next time